Working with Suicidal and Potentially Violent Clients in Clinical Practice

Working with Suicidal and Potentially Violent Clients in Clinical Practice: Clinical, Ethical, Legal, and Risk Management Considerations

November 13

9:00am – 12:15pm CT

3 CEUs*

Live and interactive via Zoom

The incidence of suicide, violent acts, and mass shootings has increased significantly in the United States in recent years, reaching epidemic proportions. Working with suicidal or potentially violent clients in clinical practice is challenging and fraught with risk for both beginning and seasoned clinicians.

This workshop will address clinical, ethical, legal, and risk management considerations when working with both children and adults presenting with risk of harm to self and/or others. Key ethical considerations as well as best practice guidelines for reducing risk and promoting safety will be reviewed with respect to assessment, intervention and prevention strategies.

Case vignettes will be integrated into the presentation to illustrate key strategies for working with this population.

Learning Objectives: After attending this intermediate-level program, participants should be able to:

1. Apply a systematic process of ethical decision making when working with clients who present with concerns related to suicide or violence

2. Formulate key components of a best practices safety plan to reduce risk and to promote client safety

3. Appraise risk management strategies relevant to working with clients at risk for suicide/violence in specific settings

*This workshop satisfies the Ethics requirement for social workers and clinical psychologists.


Susan Zoline, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who has been involved in practicing, teaching, and consulting in the Chicago area for over forty years. Dr. Zoline is a Professor of Psychology in the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program at Adler University. She was previously a Professor of Psychology and University Fellow at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology (ISPP) at Argosy University, Chicago, where she taught clinical masters and doctoral Psychology students for over thirty years. Dr. Zoline’s areas of professional expertise include professional ethics, suicide, violence and abuse assessment and intervention, clinical supervision and risk management. Dr. Zoline is a longstanding member of the Illinois Psychological Association Ethics Committee which she has co-chaired since 2010. Additionally, she has served as an expert witness in criminal matters as well as for the IL Department of Financial and Professional Regulation regarding Clinical Psychologist licensure issues. Dr. Zoline has worked clinically in a broad variety of settings and regularly consults and provides workshops to mental health and other professionals both locally and nationally on topics related to professional ethics.


This workshop will take place via Zoom. Access information will be shared via email at least 24 hours prior to the start of the workshop. The workshop will not be recorded.

If you have any questions about access or to request a reasonable accommodation that will facilitate your full participation in this event such as ASL interpreting, captioned videos, Braille or electronic text, food options for individuals with dietary restrictions, etc. please contact the event organizer.